British Working Class Poetry: Guest Editor Preface

Paul Brookes
Immensely grateful to the editors of Setumag for inviting me in 2022, and again this year to curate a selection of some British Working Class Poets. Also, thankyou to Peter Raynard who provided a basic list, and to the poets who recommended others. If your suggested poet is not included, this will be due to them not replying before the deadline, replying that they have no unpublished poems available, or that they felt themselves to be more middle class than working class. 
When I worked eight years for The Workers Educational Association as a part-time tutor many of my students were superb writers. Some did not want to pursue a literary career and were just happy to submit work in the workshops. I love promoting, fresh, neglected, or side-lined voices with their vibrancy and urgency, their richness and diversity. I do it on my blog, The Wombwell Rainbow, too. I give a platform in the form of interviews about their creativity and ask in detail about their work. It is important to me that this is not behind a paywall, so any may read it.

These are vibrant, important voices that should be heard. I am glad to be given a platform, to promote their intimate, angry, domestic and incisive accounts, and pointed lessons for us all. In the spirit of the Chartist poets who insisted on being heard, on encouraging and cajoling those without a voice to make themselves heard. 

All F Bombs have been replaced by an X.

Paul Brookes

Paul Brookes is a shop assistant. His chapbooks include As Folktaleteller, ( ImpSpired, 2022), These Random Acts of Wildness, (Glass Head Press, 2023), Othernesses, (JCStudio Press, 2023).  He edits The Wombwell Rainbow Interviews and challenges and has had work broadcast on BBC Radio 3 The Verb and BBC Radio Sheffield. Nominated for the Rhysling Prize, and twice for the Pushcart Prize.

Forthcoming, Wolf Eye, Red Ceilings Press,

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